Director: Justus Addiss
Writer: Barney Slater
Cast: Guy Williams, June Lockhart, Mark Goddard, Marta Kristen, Billy Mumy, Angela Cartwright, Jonathan Harris, and Henry Jones
Composer: Robert Drasnin
Air Date: 11/16/1966
Production #: 9510
Upon arriving on the planet, Jeremiah Smith (Henry Jones) initiates a feud with his cousin Zachary—legal heir to the fortune of a deceased aunt. Hoping to eliminate his relative, Jeremiah tricks Dr. Smith into betting against a rigged, homicidal gambling device. Only the ingenuity of Professor Robinson can save the Smith cousins from each other.
By combining juvenile camp with insufferable pacing, “Curse of Cousin Smith” will likely alienate the majority of Lost in Space enthusiasts. Especially worth criticizing is the manner of Cousin Jeremiah, whom unwitting viewers could realistically mistake for a second-rate parody of Colonel Sanders.
In the penultimate scene, Zachary and Jeremiah are chased back to the Jupiter 2 by a menacing, uncontrollable machine demanding payment for a successful bet. Desperate to end the shenanigans of both men, Professor Robinson employs a brilliant maneuver against the aforementioned machine—arguably the only highlight of this episode.
Though amusing on paper, the Tom-and-Jerry antics of Zachary and Jeremiah suffer from a languid, anticlimactic execution. For example, an explosive cream pie is passed back and forth between the Smith cousins at one point in the narrative; but takes an inordinate amount of time to detonate, thereby undermining any potential comedic value.
Also cringe-inducing, Professor Robinson—a mature and dignified leader—must repeatedly act as a mediator between two belligerent, overgrown children. Fans of the Robinson patriarch may therefore wish to avoid this offering, which fails to properly utilize its ostensible main character until the final act.
A boring, asinine effort, “Curse of Cousin Smith” can best be described as a live-action cartoon, the slapstick humor of which often results in a stale, groan-worthy outcome. For this reason among others, audiences would be wise to search elsewhere for a compelling science fiction story.
Overall Quality: 1/10
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